Ravens

Fifth-ranked Indiana blows out Jacksonville 93-59

201212281954716670879-p2.jpeg

Fifth-ranked Indiana blows out Jacksonville 93-59

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) Indiana continued its roll right through the small-school portion of its schedule Friday night - and its finally ready to start play in the rugged Big Ten.

Jordan Hulls scored a season-high 20 points, Cody Zeller added 16 and the fifth-ranked Hoosiers cruised past Jacksonville 93-59 in their final non-conference game.

The Hoosiers (12-1) have won three straight, all by at least 34 points.

Jacksonville (5-8) was led by Dylan Fritsch with 15 points and Jarvis Haywood with nine, but lost for the fourth time this season to a power-conference school. The Dolphins have now dropped four of their last six overall.

It certainly wasn't pretty.

For the second time this season, the Hoosiers struggled after a prolonged break. Two weeks ago, they lost to then-unranked Butler in their second game in 14 days.

On Friday, after taking a week off for Christmas, Indiana started sluggishly again. This time, the nation's highest-scoring team and second-best shooting team missed its first four shots and turned the ball over four times on its first eight possessions before finally settling down, taking the lead and eventually pulling away.

The Hoosiers couldn't even get Zeller to bail them out of that funk. The 7-foot center went to the bench with three points and three rebounds after drawing his second foul with 9:08 left in the half. He picked up two more fouls in the first eight minutes of the second half and padded his stats with a late scoring flurry - after the game was already in hand.

So the Hoosiers turned to their outside shooters.

Hulls got things started with a 3-pointer midway through the first half to make it 24-17, and when the 9-2 run ended, with Yogi Ferrell's steal and 15-foot pull-up jumper, the Hoosiers led 30-19.

Hulls followed with three straight 3s in the final 90 seconds, finishing the half with 17 points and five 3s as the Hoosiers took a 48-33 lead at the break.

That was all the short-handed Hoosiers needed on this night. Indiana played again without injured forward Austin Etherington, injured guard Maurice Creek and freshman forward Jeremy Hollowell, who missed his third straight game as the Hoosiers and the NCAA look into a compliance issue. Athletic director Fred Glass made the announcement in a statement less than an hour before tip-off.

Fortunately for Indiana, it didn't need any extra bodies to get past the outsized and overmatched Dolphins.

An 11-3 run early in the second half made it 63-41 and Jacksonville never got closer than 21 the rest of the way.

Five Indiana players finished in double figures.

Quick Links

Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews help lead AFC to victory in Pro Bowl skills competition

Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews help lead AFC to victory in Pro Bowl skills competition

Lamar Jackson was excellent this season finding his receivers across the field en route to an MVP caliber season. 

As it turns out, he’s not so good at hitting targets that aren’t human. 

Jackson struggled in the precision passing event, an event with moving targets labeled from one to five points and scored just two total points on 17 throws. 

But Jackson’s poor performance in the first event didn’t hurt the AFC, as it won the 2020 Pro Bowl skills competition over the NFC.

“A lot of bad throws,” Jackson said of his performance in the first event. “A little wind with me. It’s all good.” 

As soon as the event aired, Jackson immediately took to Twitter.

The events that followed were: The Gauntlet, Best Hands, Thread The Needle and Dodgeball. 

Jackson and teammate Mark Andrews competed in the Best Hands and Thread The Needle competitions. 

The duo’s obvious chemistry resulted in the second-best time, 49.4 seconds, out of four total pairings. 

The next drill was another passing drill called ‘Thread The Needle,’ which Jackson fared better in. He scored 12 total points, tied for the second-best of four passers. The concept of the drill was to throw the ball past a defender guarding a wall with nine targets, each with a corresponding point total.

In the final event of the night, the AFC beat the NFC two games to zero in dodgeball — led by Jackson and Andrews’ division rival, Browns wideout Jarvis Landry.

Jackson didn’t start the night well, but thankfully for him, the next targets with numbers he’ll see will be actual receivers at the Pro Bowl on Sunday afternoon.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE RAVENS NEWS:

Quick Links

Dolphins GM wants a leader at QB and has 'more than enough' to move up in the draft

fitz_rivera_tua_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Dolphins GM wants a leader at QB and has 'more than enough' to move up in the draft

The Dolphins hold the fifth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and if things break perfectly, they might be able to select Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with that pick. 

Unfortunately for Miami, things rarely go perfectly for any team in the NFL Draft.

The reality is if the Dolphins want a quarterback, they have very little chance of getting LSU passer Joe Burrow. He will go No. 1 overall to Cincinnatti unless the Bengals are certifiably crazy.

After that come the Washington Redskins. Ron Rivera's new team drafted a rookie QB last year in Dwayne Haskins, and he showed significant growth late in the 2019 season. It seems that the Redskins will take Ohio State defensive end Chase Young with the second pick. It seems like an easy decision.

But if Miami is desperate for a QB, the only way to guarantee they get their guy is to get to number two. Detroit has the third pick, New York has the fourth pick, then the Dolphins. 

The Redskins, Lions and Giants don't look to be in the quarterback market, but that doesn't mean other teams won't call them for a trade.

Even the most casual fan knows there aren't enough good passers in the NFL, and while Burrow is the most coveted prospect, don't count out Tagovailoa. He is going to gain immense steam as a draft prospect by late April. Scouts and personnel guys swear by the former Alabama passer as a person and as a quarterback. He's coming off a major hip injury, but the Dolphins have Ryan Fitzpatrick under contract for the 2020 season. 

It's all hypothetical right now, and maybe even a long shot, but the Dolphins GM knows he has the ammunition to move up from the fifth pick if needed. 

Dolphins general manager Chris Grier spoke at the Senior Bowl this week and said his team has "more than enough" options in the draft to get their quarterback. Miami has three first-round picks this year - Nos. 5, 18 and 26 - along with two second-round picks. That's plenty of capital if Grier decides his team needs to move up. 

And it sure sounds like Grier wants Tagovailoa.

"He’s been a winner. The fact that he won the Elite 11 and he goes to Alabama and has the storybook, coming off the bench in the national championship. Everyone always talks about his accuracy," Grier said via The Miami Herald. "Talk about the person, as well. The intangibles that we talk about. Looking forward to getting to meet him."

The only way for Miami to guarantee they get Tua is to trade into the second spot. Nobody knows what QB-needy team could trade into the third spot. And Grier knows that. 

It's also important to point out that Grier added what most around the NFL know: In the time before the draft there is "a lot of misinformation" out there. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS